SuperTalk Mississippi

Mardi Gras in Mississippi Dates Back Centuries

BILOXI, Miss– Mardi Gras season is upon us, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast continues the celebration that’s rooted centuries deep. 

“We count our celebration of Mardi Gras back to 1699,” says Bill Raymond, Historical Administrator for the City of Biloxi, “when Pierre LeMoyne d’Iberville landed here, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi.”

Raymond says d’Iberville marked in his journal that it was Mardi Gras Day in France. But Mississippi didn’t actually start partying until much later.

“We have the first parades starting at  the turn of the century, around 1900,” says Raymond.

The parades weren’t annual until 1912. There’s only been a couple of cases that stopped the parades–the World Wars, and severe storms. Since the festivities have picked up steam, not even Katrina could knock them down.

“Following Katrina we had a small-scale parade,” says Raymond. He says Governor Haley Barbour and his wife Marsha led the parade that year.

The Mardi Gras parades on the Mississippi Gulf Coast continue to grow, along with the different Mardi Gras Balls that line the coast.

“We have them every weekend starting in January through Mardi Gras Day, which this year is February 17th,” says Raymond.

All of the many parades and balls can be found online.


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